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Outcomes of WG1 on prioritisation of emerging substances


NORMAN Prioritisation perspectives:

In 2015 NORMAN WG Prioritisation will focus on the following objectives:
• Improvement of database tools & update with latest ecotoxicity data;
• New substances: for the newly approved list of NORMAN emerging substances (2015) a new collection of supporting data will be launched in 2015 for categorisation / prioritisation of these substances;
• Non-target screening: development of a NORMAN Framework for dealing with results from non-target screening and integration of such a protocol in the current NORMAN prioritisation methodology.


2014: NORMAN actively contributed to the preparation of the 1st EU Watch List under the Water Framework Directive

Art. 8 of Directive 2013/39/EU requires the selection of 10 substances for which there is not enough information to assess the EU-wide exposure and that are suspected of posing a significant risk to, or via, the aquatic environment. The objective is to encourage the production of harmonised monitoring data across the EU in support of future Priority Substances (PS) reviews.
In August 2014 NORMAN submitted a proposal to the Commission:

Top-ranked NORMAN category 1 and top-ranked category 2 compounds (candidate substances for the 1st EU Watch List). 

The first Watch List of substances for Union-wide monitoring is now published (Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/495 of 20 March 2015).


2014: Workshop on “Prioritisation of hazardous chemicals in European waters: the state of play and perspectives for improvement” organised by NORMAN in collaboration with the EU IP SOLUTIONS

Organised by INERIS, with 60 participants from across Europe and North America, the final aim of this workshop was to: i) assess the current state of prioritisation methodologies, ii) identify the current gaps and barriers and iii) make recommendations for further development and improved integration of innovative approaches in user-friendly decision-support tools to define priority actions for research and risk management.


2010 – 2012: The Prioritisation Working Group developed the NORMAN Framework for prioritisation of emerging substances (Valeria Dulio & Peter C. von der Ohe, ISBN: 978-2-9545254-0-2, April 2013)

Unlike other prioritisation methods, which aim simply to rank all candidate substances against one single prioritisation objective, the NORMAN method combines the ranking process with a prior allocation of the substances into action categories, which allows substances to be managed on the basis of the level of available information, thereby avoiding the exclusion or discrimination of substances for which there are limited data.

The scheme is integrated in the web-based NORMAN EMPODAT database, as a tool for prioritisation of the NORMAN substances, using systematically collected datasets at the European level. 

The key principles of the NORMAN prioritisation methodology are provided in a PowerPoint®presentation.

For more information, read here


Results of application of the NORMAN prioritisation framework 

Von der Ohe P.C. et al. (2011) A new risk assessment approach for the prioritization of 500 classical and emerging organic microcontaminants as potential river basin specific pollutants under the European Water Framework Directive. The principles of the NORMAN methodology were successfully applied to four river basins in Europe, as reported in this publication by Von der Ohe P.C.

Von der Ohe P.C. et al. (2011) Triclosan—the forgotten priority substance? The application of the methodology revealed the biocide triclosan as one so far overlooked but promising candidate for the future list of priority substances.

Slobodnik J. et al. (2012) Identification of river basin specific pollutants and derivation of environmental quality standards: A case study in the Slovak Republic.

Cassiana C. Montagner et al. (2013) Occurrence and potential risk of triclosan in freshwaters of São Paulo, Brazil – the need for regulatory actions.

Klaschka U, von der Ohe PC, Bschorer A, Krezmer S, Sengl M, Letzel M (2013) Occurrences and potential risks of 16 fragrances in five German sewage treatment plants and their receiving waters.


NORMAN scheme adopted in France for improving the national monitoring programmes under the WFD

The national regulation in France requires the adoption of a Watch List in order to acquire missing information about the level of presence of emerging contaminants in the aquatic environment and to allow the identification of substances for which specific management actions need to be implemented. 
In 2012, in line with the NORMAN prioritisation scheme, 182 substances were selected for a large national monitoring screening campaign at 200 sites in surface waters. Some of the substances identified in this study (highest frequency of quantification, frequency of exceedance and degree of exceedance of the Lowest PNEC, etc.) are now part of the French Watch List for more in-depth monitoring (3 years) in the aquatic environments. The results of the screening campaign (raw data) are published in the NORMAN EMPODAT database.